Samoana Video Launched

  • Mark Gosche
Pacific Island Affairs

7 November 2001Media Statement
Samoana Video Launched

Samoa’s first film history will have its New Zealand launch tonight.

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche and Samoa’s Minister for Education the Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa will launch the documentary at an Auckland function to be attended by Samoan Prime Minister Hon Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, MPs, diplomats and members of the Samoan community.

Titled ”Samoana”, the hour-long film covers 3000 years of Samoa’s history. It is a co-production between the Samoan government and an Australian based film company, Juniper Films.

Major events highlighted in the film include the partition of Western Samoa in the nineteenth century, rule by Imperial Germany, New Zealand trusteeship and the road toward independence.

Mark Gosche said it was important to all cultures to be aware of their history.

“This video helps make Samoa’s history accessible to many people. That is important for helping all Samoan people understand where they have come from.”

Scenes in Samoana include dramatic representation of the killing of unarmed Mau supporters by New Zealand troops in 1929 , and the massive death toll of the influenza epidemic which followed the First World War.

“The film also illustrates key aspects of “Fa`a Samoa” - tattooing, ava (kava) ceremonies and the chiefly system,” Mr Gosche said.

Lau Asofou So`o, head of the Samoan Studies Institute at the National University of Samoa, wrote the script for the film, which is available in both Samoan and English.

Samoana has already attracted wide interest from universities and schools worldwide - and from the many thousands of Samoans living throughout the world.

The film will be shown on the Televison New Zealand Pacific Island programme, Tagata Pasifika, early next year. Copies are available for $44 from Kiwi Books, Raumati Beach, Wellington 6450, fax: (04) 905 1235, email: kiwi.books@paradise.net.nz.